Country Day came out of the blocks quickly, streaking to an early 6-0 lead. Romulus finally answered the run a few minutes later with two free throws from Devin Searcy, but still seemed a little out of sync. While the Eagles managed to eventually get on track, they did so with their floor general out of the line up.
Jerret Smith, who was playing with stitches in his mouth do to a blow he took to the face in Friday's overtime win over Ypsilanti, was pulled early in the first period. After slicing through the Yellow Jacket defense and making it to the bucket only to miss the bunny on a few occasions, he was relegated to the bench. He played sparingly the rest of the quarter and the rest of the half. Alex Legion, on the other hand, was on target from the start.
The sophomore star didn't have his jumper working on the night, but he was just as proficient as Smith was at getting to the hole. He manned to point for much of the night and the Eagles did little to stop the ball when it was in his hands. By the end of the opening stanza he had tallied 11 points of his team's 19 points to give DCD a five point lead after one.
Both Smith and Legion were looking forward to matching up with one another and were able to do so a little in the second period. Still, with Jerret on the sideline the majority of the half, the match up didn't really materialize as much as they might have liked. In Jerret's place, Romulus coach Nate Oats ran a number of players at Legion. Unfortunately for the Eagles, none were really successful at keeping him out of the paint. By the intermission he had racked up 17 points and the home team held a 32-26 advantage.
Coming out of the locker room, Country Day's size advantage really began to manifest itself. Junior forward Omar Thomas was a bull in the post and he combined with senior center Mark Coury to dominate the boards on both ends. The Yellow Jackets were able to push the lead to 11 midway through the third quarter, but then Smith began to find his groove.
The Eagles used pressure defense to speed the game up, which caused Country Day to commit a few turnovers. That sparked a furious assault by on the part of Romulus. Smith helped key the comeback effort with a big assist on a fast break to a teammate down low for a lay-up, followed by a crisp pass to the sharp-shooting Dante' Williams in the corner for three. Smith then cut even further into the lead when he came down on the break and nailed a triple of his own from the top to make it 55-52 Country Day with 5:25 left in the game. That caused Country Day coach Kurt Keener to call a timeout, but the Eagles continued their run.
Romulus cut the lead to one, 57-56, with 4:30 remaining and seemed poised to take the lead, but the Yellow Jackets maintained their composure. A 6-0 run moved the margin back out to seven. That gave the home team a little breathing room, but the game was not over yet. The Eagles had one more run in them.
Two quick Romulus baskets cut the lead to three with just under two minutes remaining. Smith almost made it three straight with what may have been the move of the night. The future Wolverine split two defenders by crossing left to right, bringing the dribble behind him, and then bouncing it (from the rear) between his legs on the way to the basket. One of the Yellow Jacket defenders underneath the hoop tried to block the shot, but a right hand scoop from Smith got it up on the rim. The ball rolled around a bit and looked like it was on its way in, but it was not given the chance to fall. Devin Searcy came flying in to slam it home, but the bucket as waved on for basket interference. That seemed to be all she wrote for the Eagles.
Legion continued his impressive play with eight points in the fourth, including a stick-back with 50-seconds left to put the home team up 67-60. When the clocked ticked down to zero, the Yellow Jackets had earned a hard fought 67-62 victory.
On the game Legion led the Yellow Jackets with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He also got big help in the post from Omar Thomas, who had 17 points and 5 rebounds and Mark Coury, who had had 13 points 14 rebounds 6 assists and 3 blocks.
Romulus was led by Dante Williams with 16 points and 4 rebounds and Geryn Reese with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Jerret Smith finished the game with 10 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds
GBW will have more on the game later, including comments from Jerret Smith and Alex Legion, as well as a photo gallery.